The Texas Tamale

by Joanne on August 4, 2009

During the week, while working out in the early morning hours, the FoodNetwork offers the late night shows.  One particular morning I was fortunate to catch “Road Tasted” with Jamie and Bobby Deen.  They were in Houston, TX and paid a visit to the Texas Tamale Company.  This prompted me to embark on a venture in making my own tamales.   Never doDSC_0385ne it. Could be fun.  Who knew !???!

I had to find corn husks and masa (the flour).  The flour I can get locally but corn husks?   I decided instead of spending time looking I would order from  My package arrived Friday and the tamales were on the menu for Sunday.  

The Fillings:


For all of the following 3 fillings you will use 1 large onion – chopped.

You will use 1  4.5 oz can of chopped green chiles.  2 large chiles, chopped in adobe sauce (these are HOT so be careful if you don’t like the heat), 1 TBS olive oil. 

Saute the onions on medium for 3 minutes in oil.  Add the chiles and continue on medium heat for 3 more minutes.  Divide into 3rds (if making 3 fillings described in this post).  Set aside.

Pork(or chicken or beef):

There had to be a meat filling for Ted so I used the preparation instructions on the flour bag for pork filling. 

Place 1.25 lb boneless pork loin in a pot of boiling water, reduced to simmer and let cook for 1 hour 45 minutes *This cooked while Shane and I went for a run.

Shred the cooked, cooled pork.  Heat 2 TBS oil in a saute pan and add the shredded pork.  Cook until it begins to brown.  Add 1/3 of the above onion mix.  Remove from heat and add 1 cup of BBQ sauce and mix.  Set aside. 

Black Bean:

1 15 oz can of Black beans, rinsed and drained and roughly mashed.  Add 1/3 of the onion-chile mixture, pepper and salt to taste.

Spinach and Cheese:

  • 1 10 oz package of frozen spinach -defrosted and squeezed dry.
  • 1 15 oz container of Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 1/3 of the Onion-Chile mix from above
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 TBS Adobe spice (or your choice)

Mix all of the above together in a bowl. Set aside to use for filling.

Tamale Dough: Makes 16 tamales

  • 2 cups Maseca Flour
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (Smart Balance or Butter)-softened

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt.  Work in the broth, slowly incorporating it with your hands.  Work in the butter/shortening for about 5 minutes.  Set aside while you get your fillings together.


Preheat oven to 350 F.

You will need about 16 corn husks. Soak them in water for about 10 minutes. Rinse well.

Spread the tamale dough onto the corn husk (about 1 1/2 to 2 TBS per husk).  Top with 1 TBS any of the above seasonings and fold over the husk to seal and fold the two ends over. Place each filled husk, folded end down in a steamer (I used a large fish steamer for all tamales). 

Fill bottom of steamer with water, put the tamales on the steamer basket/platter, cover and put into the oven to steam-cook for 1 hour. 



I served our tamales with home made guacamole and a creamy tzatziki.


These tamales tasted good and were something different than our normal dinner options. 


By the way, I had a lot of left over filling mixtures.  This is what I did with them: 


Black bean on the bottom, Spinach Cheese on top.  The vegetables are green peppers, red peppers, and eggplant. All vegetables are split in half, the filling is put in the center and then roasted at 425 F for 50 minutes (covered until the last 10 minutes). 

Have you ever tried tamales?

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